China looks to Canada for foodstuffs

China looks to Canada for foodstuffs

The search for reliable and safe food sources is becoming a top priority for most countries as climate change takes hold.

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CANADA: In a world of rising temperatures, where droughts are slowly taking over once fertile soil, finding a reliable and safe food source is becoming a top priority for most countries - including China.

The Asian powerhouse is looking to Canada to provide the food that will fuel the appetite of a hungry country.

"Chinese demand for Canadian food and agricultural products is getting stronger,” said Howard Lin, an international business professor and co-director of the Canada-China Institute for Business Development.

The institute has been around for two years, and its mandate is to teach Canadians about China and foster business relations between the two countries. Recently, the institute hosted a Chinese delegation looking to find a solution to China’s growing food problem.

“The soil is bad,” said Lin. “So even if it is a good company or even good agricultural processes, you can’t secure a safe food source in China."

Climate change is making growing crops that much more challenging. However, economist and author Jeff Rubin begs to differ.

"I’ve argued climate change ironically has some huge pluses for this economy," said Rubin, nothing that a three degree change in global temperatures will benefit Canada.

"I think we are going to see agricultural shift to high latitude countries,” said Rubin. “I think Canada is going to become one of the world’s principle bread baskets."

But according to Lin, Canada’s crops will not be going anywhere unless the government put in place more aggressive agricultural policies. Lin added that Ottawa needs to establish strong bilateral trade agreements something the ongoing Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations could accomplish.

Source: CNA/fl